New Nexus 7 review

Supercharged with Android 4.4, the Nexus 7 is now an even better tablet

New Nexus 7 review
New Nexus 7 review

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There's really very little in it now between the Android Play Store and the iOS App Store. Both are incredibly well stocked, although some of the findings in the Google tent are a little quirkier, due to the relaxed restrictions. Of course, that means there's a lot of tat in there too.

Before you go mad though, remember, apps will be saved to the internal memory since there is no memory card. Keep an eye on HD games and so on or you'll be full up rather quickly - especially if you opt for the 16GB model.

New Nexus 7 review

You can also sideload apps from other app stores if you choose to download them. Bear in mind that Google warns you about installing files from others because it can't police where they've come from.

Traditionally, this is where you're likely to find some nasties lurking but if they're from reputable vendors (like Amazon, for example), you should be OK.

I installed the Amazon app store as it's nice to diversify sometimes.

And as a gaming device, you can really go to town with the Nexus 7's HD screen. Games and apps look so sharp, it's breathtaking at times. Add to that the fact it's light, it's portable and has OK speakers and you're onto a winner.

One of the other criticisms that has often been levelled at Android is that it is too fragmented. There are so many devices to write for that instead of optimised programmes as you would get on an iPad, you get large scale phone apps on a tablet.

Google is trying hard to rectify this - it even has a dedicated tablet space on the Play Store - but that will take time to bear fruit.

New Nexus 7 review

Obviously, being a pure Google device, the apps you get initially are Google's own. Gmail, Google Calendar and so forth all work as well as ever.

You also have the fantastic Google Maps and Navigation apps meaning you can hold in the palm of your hand a sat nav system that equals the best TomToms and Garmins and is always up to date, yet does so much more and costs a fraction of the price.

I had problems with the GPS when I first reviewed the Nexus 7. It would get a fix quickly enough, but the signal would typically drop after anything from 10-30 minutes and I'd have to restart the tablet to get it back.

This issue was supposed to be fixed in version JSS15Q of Android 4.3, which also dealt with a common touchscreen issue. Some users are still reporting problems, even after the update to KitKat, but when I tested it with Android 4.4.2 it got a fix quickly and had no problem retaining it for a couple of hours of driving until I turned the tablet off.